The death of a New York college student from brain trauma in a suspected fraternity hazing incident in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania in December was a homicide, a coroner said Saturday.
Chen "Michael" Deng, a freshman at Baruch College in Manhattan, died of injuries inflicted by one or more persons, the definition of homicide, said William Lisman, coroner of Luzurne County, Pa., Lisman said further details would have to come from police.
Deng, 19, had traveled with about 30 people to Tunkhannock Township, Pa., about 75 miles from New York for the weekend and took part in a pledging ritual for the fraternity Pi Delta Psi, authorities said shortly after his December death.
E. David Christine Jr., district attorney for Monroe County, said in December that Deng "got tackled too many times" during a hazing incident and that criminal investigators were seeking the identities of people responsible for Deng's injuries.
Pocono Mountain Regional Police have been investigating Deng's death but no one was available to comment about it on Saturday, a patrol shift supervisor said.
No one has been charged in connection with Deng's death.
Deng was among four pledges involved in a ritual in someone's yard and after getting injured he was driven by friends to a hospital, where he died on Dec. 9, police said at the time.
Deng was injured in Monroe County but the hospital where he died is in Luzerne County, making Lisman responsible for ruling on the cause of death, he said.
© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.